September 28, 2012
It is officially fall here in Decorah – the leaves are beginning to change, the temperatures are dropping, noses are sniffling, and parents are driving in to see how their kids are doing after their first month of a new year of college.
My parents drove in last Saturday for Parent’s Weekend, and it was so nice to see them, especially after having such a hard week of exams and papers! After having lunch in the caf, my parents helped switch around a few things in my room and brought me to the co-op to stalk up my mini-fridge for the next few weeks. After getting some of these things off of our informal “to-do list”, we made our way to Dunning Springs to look at the waterfall.
I hadn’t seen Dunning Springs since my first week at Luther – I frequently run past the entrance of the park, but I have never taken the time to go back and see the waterfall in the daylight. Both my parents and I were thrilled that we had taken time out of our day to go see the waterfall. As we approached it, my mom kept saying “listen to how LOUD that water is!”. She was right – closing my eyes and listening to the water allowed me to escape reality for a minute and just focus on nature and how peaceful it can be. Of course, when I opened my eyes, the view was equally spectacular - the leaves have begun to change, and the sunlight would hit the waterfall perfectly every few minutes, bringing the autumn colors to life as they reflected off of the water.
Although my brother graduated from Luther, it was the first time my parents had ever been to Dunning Springs. They were astonished to find out that something so beautiful was located so close to my dorm! This really reminded me of how much Luther and Decorah have to offer outside of the classroom. When looking at colleges, I was considering schools in Saint Paul and Sioux Falls and wondered if I could give up having the opportunities of a big city to attend college in small-town Iowa. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of things to do here: I’m always discovering new running paths, reading great reviews of local restaurants, and hearing other students talk about places they’ve gone and putting them on my list of places I’d like to visit.
Although I’m sure there will be times throughout my college career where I’ll wish Luther were located in a more urban area, it’s the times like visiting Dunning Springs with my family that make me appreciate the charm of living amongst the bluffs of upper Iowa. It’s a great refreshment to get away from the confines of the classroom or the walls of my dorm room and to simply appreciate the beauty of the nature that surrounds me here at Luther.